Gold’s Gym Owner Among 6 Presumed Dead After Private Plane Vanishes In Caribbean

 Costa Rican officials have declared Gold’s Gym owner Rainer Schaller — and five other passengers who were with him — missing and presumed dead after their private plane disappeared while traveling between Mexico and Costa Rica.

According to a report published by entertainment website TMZ on Saturday, the private plane carrying the German businessman and five others — likely including his partner Christiane Schikorsky, their children, a fitness trainer, and the pilot — lost communication with a control tower somewhere near Barra del Parismina on Friday.

According to the Associated Press, Costa Rican authorities said that they have found what they believe to be pieces of the twin-engine aircraft — a nine-seat Italian Piaggio P180 Avanti — in the ocean about 17 miles off the coast on Saturday, but they have not reported finding any bodies.

“Pieces have been found that indicate that this is the aircraft. Up to now we have not found any bodies dead or alive,” Martín Arias, Costa Rica’s assistant security minister, explained in a statement.

“Around six in the afternoon we received an alert about a flight coming from Mexico to the Limon airport, carrying five German passengers,” Security Minister Jorge Torres told the press. The plane’s flight plan and manifest revealed that a 66-year-old Swiss man was flying the plane, and the passengers included Schaller (53) and four other German citizens — a 44-year-old woman, a 40-year-old man, and two minors. Torres explained that initial search efforts had begun immediately, but were later called off due to hazardous weather conditions.

Schaller is the Founder, Owner, and CEO of the RSG Group, which owns over 20 fitness and fashion brands — including Gold’s Gym and McFit — and employs 41,000 people, including franchises in 48 countries.

Costan Rican media outlet Teletica has reported that the bodies of one adult and one minor have been found within the search area, but other outlets have yet to confirm that report. Teletica also reported that, in addition to finding pieces of the plane’s wreckage, they had found luggage the believe belonged to Schaller and the other passengers.

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